Local info

Kottayam

Kottayam is a city and a municipality in the Indian state of Kerala. An important trading center of commercial crops and a publishing centre in Kerala, Kottayam is also the administrative capital of Kottayam district. The town has been in the forefront of modern education in Kerala from the nineteenth century. In 1989, it achieved the distinction of being the first District in India to achieve 100% literacy.

History

The name Kottayam is said to have come from 'Kotta Akam' in Malayalam, meaning 'inside the fort'. The Rajas of Thekkumkur, an independent little kingdom to which Kottayam area belonged, ruled their domain from a location in the present day Kottayam called Thazhathangadi. When, in the mid-18th century, Marthanda Varma of Travancore annexed Thekkumcore, Kottayam area, along with the areas of the rest of what is today's Kottayam District, became part of the Kingdom of Travancore (later to be the Princely State of Travancore under the British.) After Indian independence, Kottayam eventually became the headquarters of the present Kottayam District.

The citizens of Kottayam had a role in some of the early social struggles in Kerala. A protest movement that took place in the 1891 called the 'Malayali Memorial agitation', seeking increased representation for Travancoreans in the Travancore civil service, as opposed to outsiders, is said to have started in Kottayam and may have been the beginning of modern political movement in Kerala. Kottayam also had an active role in the 'Nivarthana' struggle in the 1930s, which was a campaign seeking representation for Hindus of the lower castes, Christians and Muslims in the Travancore Legislature.